Saturday, February 23, 2008

Like It Used to Be: Clear Creek Canyon

I have not been to Clear Creek since it was the Evan's season and we would stop by and have short sessions before continuing on to the alpine.  Ander and I decided it was time to return to this small canyon and see how we matched up against old projects.   We headed to Dark Waters and for the first time I was able to walk right across the river, which was nice considering Ander and I were both carrying three pads each.  We had a good time with Ander making progress on Formula 50 and Fluid Mechanics and me working Dark Waters.  I was able to do all the moves in three pieces but I found out my endurance is even worse than I thought and got pumped linking the climb together.  Once both of us were throughly worked, we moved over to 268 where Ander wanted to finish up 41st Street.  Ander did all the moves but decided to come back when he was fresh and had more skin.  Here are a few pictures of Ander on Fluid Mechanics. 

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Good Day at the Pass

After ABS Nationals, my friend Owen Anderson was down in the Springs looking at Colorado College and wanted to check out some of the local bouldering.  We headed up to the pass around 2:30 and I figured I would show him the Cool Cuts boulder first.  Owen flashed Cool Cuts for Tojo Stand (V5), then did Cool Cuts Direct (V7) 3rd go.  He then set to work on Cool Cuts for Tojo (V9) and managed to send in less than an hour.  Not a bad first day at the Pass.  I decided I was going to attempt to send the whole Cool Cuts boulder in a day.  I managed to do everything first go, which includes Daddy Fat Sacks (V11/12), Cool Cuts for Tojo (V9), Cool Cuts Direct (V7), Cool Cuts for Tojo Stand (V5), The Funfetti Arete (V2), and Cool Cuts Stand (V1). We then headed over to Megaton, where Owen gave two good attempts on the traverse but decided the endurancy line was not for him today.  Next up was the Bloody Arete, which Owen came agonizingly close to sending.  I did the sit (V10) third go.  We finished up the day at the Talledega Nights project, where I was able to stick the first of the two crux moves.  This was only my second time doing so and I am excited to return tomorrow and try to finish off this project.

Bloody Arete Stand (V8)

Cool Cuts for Tojo (V9)

Cool Cuts Direct (V7)

A Wet Gold Bar

Bryan and myself headed up to Gold Bar on Saturday.  Despite the wet pavement in Seattle we decided that we had a good chance of finding something dry and we could always explore for new blocks.  Well, we showed up at the Equinox boulder to find it dripping wet and to only see looming storm clouds all around.  I put a few lines of chalk above the holds and then brushed each one, hoping that they might dry a little.  We headed off to explore but as soon as we entered the forest above the talus field we found ourselves post-holing through the snow.  After half an hour of that we headed back to the Equinox.  It was dry enough to try but no where near the perfect conditions we had experienced over Thanksgiving.  After around an hour of trying it, it started raining and I conceded that today was not my day to do this rig.  We drove back to Gold Bar and got some food at Zeke's drive in only to look back up and see the boulder field was getting hit with direct sun.  Bummer, maybe next time.  Here are some pictures of Equinox on a dryer day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Horseshoe Stratler

This is THE project of Ute Pass, if not Southern Colorado.  It has been attempted for over 10 years with a few good attempts by a handful of people, but no one has ever gotten exceptionally close to this one.  At first it looks easy, two bucket jugs separated by two crimps in a seam.  But you realize quickly that this one is mighty deceiving.  This was the very first problem that I ever saw at Ute Pass, and will probably be the last I ever climb.  Tim and me wandered upon it on our first visit and instantly got psyched, only to realize after an our of not getting past the first move that it may have been more difficult than we originally thought.  The beta has not even been fully worked out, with at least three solid methods that could yield a send.  Nick Anderson has gotten close by grabbing the lower, and better, of the two crimps with the left and locking off the gaston to the second crimp but he has not been able to roll out of it to the top.  Scott Hann, while never having actually tried the problem, had a dream about it and thought up some beta that turned out to be surprisingly plausible.  One must grab the start effectively like an undercling pocket and lock off to go right to the higher seam crimp then roll out to the jug.  I have gotten this upper crimp solidly before but never been able to pull out of it.  The third method is grabbing the lower crimp with the right hand and one arming off of it and lunging to the finish.  This may sound the most difficult but I have gotten the closest by this method.  Below are a few pictures of Ben and Max trying the beta that Nick uses.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday at the Pass

On Friday Ben Max Julia and myself headed up to the pass.  It was a little warm for the Green Lantern but since I was the only one who had been there, we decided to go and check it out.   Just after warming up, Byron showed up, and as usual brought with him some good beta.  Julia did awesome on the stand start, which is V4/5.  She hiked the moves that Ben and Max did not do but due to her hight was forced to jump for a lip, which she did not seem overly psyched on trying to do.  The full sit felt much more doable than when I tried it last year but I still was not able to stick the crux move.  I hit the hold on the crux move a few times but either my left hand would pick or my right would not be deep enough into the slot. Ben attempted a line heading out left from the start of the Green Lantern but after a few burns broke a key hold.  After the two slippers got too greasy we headed to the Horseshoe Stratler.  We tried a number of different methods and there are two ways that seem promising to me.  Stay tuned for a full Stratler post.  For now here are a few photos of Julia, Max and Ben up at the Lantern.